Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Every year 40 million odd usually pudgy guys visiting Babylon to sell or buy thingees and gadgets while spending cash like movie stars and doing things that really need to stay in Vegas.
There is little fabulous about the place, sure the casino hotels are magnificent, and yes 6 of the top 10 rated USA restaurants are in the city, but really Vegas is no more that a place for the ultimate expressions of greed, avarice, immorality, desperation and human weakness.
I've been coming here every year for likely 10 years or more, and it's gotten so that I don't put a nickle in a slot machine and don't bother leaving my hotel.
I do my business and leave.
I guess I won't get that job writing articles for the Tourist Bureau.
En Route to the city of lucky and unlucky breaks, Fabulous Las Vegas our plane almost went down.
On final approach, about 1oo feet up we all of a sudden turned sideways and then back the other way. Then took off again found some quiet air and dropped about 30 feet.
I have a new life so I promise to no longer tease Red Tory, Jeff Davidson, Canadian Cynic.
To add a little politics to my survival, why did we ever buy airplanes made in France anyway?
Who got paid off??
Monday, January 28, 2008
The goal, he said, is to get developing nations to notice the bikes and tap into the energy they can provide. "It's a way to help places like Africa or Asia get electricity the way we have without creating the same environmental problems," he said.
So let me get this straight . . .
They want billions and billions of starving people in the third world to spend their days (and all their pent up energy) pedaling to death to create electricity (and lose weight). (Not to mention each of these bikes cost about 5 times per capita income...)
On the other hand, maybe it's not a bad idea for some, like, say Al Gore.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
But, Bill, I thought Arkansas, South Carolina, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Florida were your home team (at least until February 5th.
It was a touching, sentimental, representation of a feeling, tortured war veteran escaping his past by meditating at a chamomile farm far from civilization. Sort of an "Under the Tuscan Sun" for men.
And I loved it - especially seeing what CGI can do with a large band of evil-doers and a 50 Cal MG.
Geoff Pevere of the Star, an irritating mugwump of a film reviewer, of course, had to make a political point of it:
Will he settle in this time, or will he once again find himself "going Rambo" somewhere deep in the heart of his home? And what will he make of all those newly minted Rambos, the next generation of walking wounded coming home from yet another unpopular and seemingly unwinnable war?But from what I can see, the
Here's what I have to say about them.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Show is called "Live from Gretzky's" I think, and the topic was Hockey and TV deals.
I've written before about how tired I am of being bombarded with Leaf propaganda.
I was gonna post this week on how within five days, a Star reporter had gone from stating that everyone knows the Leafs are eliminated from the play offs, to their winning a game and there being a "glimmer" of hope, and then their winning three in a row and starting a new play off run.
So many Torontonians are lost in Leafland, which is a delusional state in which nirvana is achieved with only a minimal amount, if any, of contemplation.
Hockey, in the scheme of things, is not much of our culture, nor symbolic of who we are,nor does it capture national imagination as it did at one time.
And, as pointed out on the radio program, in the US is isn't even judged to be a sport, because ESPN doesn't carry it and is unwilling to pay to air it.
They have Rodeo. They have the Winchester Dog Show. But no hockey.
I just wish I could turn on a radio station and not hear about the Leafs.
It happened with Toronto Hydro
And now it's happening with City Works...
Toronto's 9.4 per cent hike in the water rate – expected to be repeated annually for some years to come – reflects a trend across the GTA. Blended water and wastewater rates are rising everywhere as consumption continues to drop: 6.5 per cent in Halton, 9.5 per cent in Durham, 11.6 per cent in Markham and 9 per cent in Peel.
The city tells you to conserve, and once again, in their inimitable manner, they fail to realize that this will mean a reduction in revenues and a shortfall. And rather than reduce their expenses to compensate for reduced demand THEY RAISE FEES AND TAXES.
Once again, Toronto is proven to be managed by Larry, Mo and Curly Miller.
Friday, January 25, 2008
The campaign to introduce sharia is back. Last time, the campaign took a populist approach, invoking multiculturalism. This time, the pro-sharia lobby is dangling the carrot of new niche markets and has the backing of Canada's major banks. Such icons of the corporate world as Citibank NA, HSBC Holdings PLC, and Barclays PLC have endorsed sharia banking and have started offering Islamic financing products to a vulnerable Muslim population.
Every English-language translation of the Koran has translated the Arabic word riba as usury, not interest. Yet, Islamists have deliberately portrayed bank interest as usury and labelled the current banking system as un-Islamic. Instead, these Islamists have created exotic products with names that are foreign to much of the world's Muslim population. This is where they mask interest under the niqab of Mudraba, Musharaka, Murabaha, and Ijara. Two authors, both senior Muslim bankers, have written scathing critiques of sharia banking, one labelling the practice as nothing more than "deception," with the other suggesting the entire exercise was "a convenient pretext for advancing broad Islamic objectives and for lining the pockets of religious officials." Why Canadian banks would contribute to this masquerade is a question for ordinary Canadians to ask.
Amnesty International Should Push Boycott UK - Maybe living in squalor and being subjugated and terrorized by Israel is a great thing . . .
The next question that arises is that if 40 seriously ill people did die as a result of the Israeli government closing the borders to fuel shipments and humanitarian aid how will they be counted in the ever growing conflict body count? Will they be listed as casualties? Or will they not even count as collateral damage in the record books of history?
Let us check this out. Gaza has a death rate of 3.74 deaths per 1000 population (2007 est). That includes 0.24 death per 1000 population due to Israeli strikes, of whom 15% were unarmed civilians or unidentified people [based on source]. Not directly relevant, but for general knowledge Syria has 4.74 deaths per 1000 population per year (2007 est). So the rate of Syrian Holocaust is 27% higher. As a side note the reference to "Gaza Holocaust" comes from the Popular Committee Against Siege, which is lead by a Gaza MP. This site also serves as a useful Hamas-inspired reference for some Canadian left-wingers when they feel like publishing an anti-Israeli propaganda piece, which is often.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
1/ The Save the Earth from Warming movement has worked. Global Warming is OVER! Get out the salami and cheese.
2/ That, given the logic of the STEW movement, we must now act to fight Global Freezing, and again, to draw on this logic, we must all immediately buy SUVs, install coal burning and spewing furnaces, and fly in private jets. To save the earth...
Question, though: How many people have died from the Global Warming period we've survived? I haven't seen this stat yet. However:
There were at least five deaths attributed to the cold in Albuquerque last Sunday. So much for global warming. Mr. Gore warns us that the penguins and polar bears are all going to die. I have a suggestion for him. Send them to Gulf Shores. There is plenty of water, no people on the beaches, lots of food and freezing temperatures. They will never miss their polar caps, and that suggestion could earn me a Noble Prize.HT to Fred
"But Mr. bin Kyoto, your position is just knee-jerk anti-growth, anti-development, anti-capitalist, anti-Western and especially anti-American. It shuns complex thinking in favour of simplistic and false moral imperatives its adherents accept on blind faith and which ultimately hold human life to be cheap. Mr. bin Kyoto, you and Sharia Green sound a lot like Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida.
"Your point, infidel?"
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Nathan would know fools' logic - the NDP have been saying and doing the same things over and over again for fifty years and are still living in a planet where the skies are pink
As dusk settled over the eastern Mediterranean last night, countless vehicles were still lined up in both directions for more than a kilometre, as thousands upon thousands of long-suffering Gazans swarmed into neighbouring Egypt through a dismantled border wall, while an apparently equivalent number returned to the Palestinian territory, laden with whatever treasures they had managed to purchase during an unexpected Egyptian shopping spree.
Looks like the Egyptians don't like Palestinans all that much either...
Suppose a group of scientists introduced a drug they claimed could save many lives: There were side effects, of course, but the scientists claimed the drug's benefits far outweighed its risks.
If the government then asked these same scientists to form an assessment committee to evaluate their claim (and the committee consisted of colleagues of the scientists who made the original claim as well as the drug's developers), an uproar would occur, and there would be protests. It would represent a clear conflict of interest.
Yet this is what has happened with the IPCC process. To date, either few people recognize this conflict, or those that do choose to ignore it because the recommendations of the IPCC fit their policy and political agenda. In either case, scientific rigor has been sacrificed, and poor policy and political decisions will inevitably follow.
"We shouldn't build on vulnerable pieces of land," said Mark Yakabuski, president of the Insurance Bureau of Canada. "Building codes should have to take global warming into account."(Yakabuski might be a whiz at insurance, but does he think that geological events (earthquakes & volcanoes) are caused by climate change? And has he taken into account that values of assets have increased much more than rates of inflation and that there is likely 20 times as many assets to insure as in the 70's. Huh?
Yakabuski said insurance claims related to geological and weather events are 20 times higher today than in the 1970s, if inflation is taken into account. Climate change, he said, "is a threat that is real beyond anything we've faced before."
Perks cautioned that the insurance industry is a big part of Toronto's financial success and suggested federal politicians might pay more attention to climate change if they considered the impact it could have on the private sector.(And what exactly is Comrade Perks saying here? That Climate Change is gonna kill all the insurance companies? Huh? That they're not just gonna raise their rates to take on more risk - is it possible that these insurance companies might use this catastrophist outlook to raise rates anyway? Huh, Gord? Have you ever gotten outside your commune and read anything but the communist manifesto? Huh?)
And, meanwhile, in a moment of sobriety, The Star DID report on a York U physicist smacking down a shibboleth that jet contrails are a contributor to Global Warming. The "common wisdom" was that this was proved on 9/12 to 9/14, 2001 when the skies were free of aircraft.
"The American researchers need to look a bit harder at the original data," Wijngaarden said.And, a proponent of the original study (a geography professor - David Travis - from U of Wisconsin) showed his knowledge of geography:
"It's possible that Canada simply doesn't have a high enough density of jet traffic for contrails to make any difference"But Travis said he had not realized Pearson Airport has been ranked 20th busiest airport in the world measured by takeoffs and landings.Don't send your kids to be educated by this man.
Just finished Richard Matheson's novella after seeing the release of a new version a couple of weeks ago. Thought it would be worthwhile to just offer a few observations.
Omega Man: Chuck Heston as Robert Neville
"Omega Man" has always stayed with me since seeing it thirty-odd years ago. Heston, who established Moses as the prototype of heroic Biblical heroes, continued his firm jawed, strong and stolid heroic performance in this film. His sister(?) film to this was "Soylent Green". Well worth a rental.
I Am Legend: Will Smith as Robert Neville
Will Smith, among my favorite actors, is good in this picture. My only complaints are that Hollywood had to add way too much CGI, had to create a huge cinematic climax, and a happy ending. I liked how the producers built the plot around an "unintended consequence".
Peter Dang's Amateur Production Based on Novel
I think this amateur mini well represented the tone of the book.
"I Am Legend" by Richard Matheson
A dreary depressing book, but Matheson was a much better writer than I expected. I expected schlock, and it wasn't. Rather a great description of the inner turmoil of a man alone. No happy ending to be found here. Worth a read.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
From the Ozzies
You thought penguins were in gravest danger of extinction from global warming.You can read the whole story if you want - it's hilarious. The IPCC predict an increase in temps by what, less than 1 degree in the next 100 years. Do these vets and dog-owners figure they and their pets are gonna be around that long??
Now bulldogs, boxers, Pekinese, pugs and French mastiffs are among the breeds of dogs that may not see out many more Australian summers, experts say.
Rising temperatures could also cast aside Persian cats in favour of fuller-faced felines. "Darwin's theory will take care of them," he said. "They won't be around in the future; they won't last."
The director of Melbourne University's veterinary teaching hospital, Mark Davis, said dog owners should act responsibly by opting for long-nosed or long-tongued breeds such as greyhounds or golden retrievers. Dogs cool themselves by panting, which makes summer more difficult for breeds like bulldogs and pugs, which typically have squashed airways.
"It will be more sensible to not have those breeds as a pet because as it gets hotter they are going to struggle more," he said.
A Tom Nelson find.
“It is well known as a matter of history, that when Greenland was discovered, it possessed a much warmer climate than it does at present. The ice packs have been extending south from the polar regions for some centuries, and the northeast coasts of our continent are much colder than they were three centuries ago.
At campaign stops, Senator Johnny Mac would exhort his cheering throngs of hopeful and desperate supporters by telling them these major job losses were not so much a temporary setback, but a permanent condition.
The Tories appointee (Don Meredith) in Toronto Centre looks like he wants to bring "off-message" to new heights.What's this about?
At an all candidates event last week he said he'd advocate for minority hiring quotas as a condition for awarding Federal contracts.
I suspect a lot of other peoples' flabbers will be ghasted over this.
(My Flabber's already ghasted out).
the provincial and federal Commissions to whom we submitted our case threatens the interests of us all. Canadians in all walks of life have come to rely on them to assert their basic human rights as employees, as persons living with disabilities, as women, as ethnic and cultural minorities, as gender-orientation minorities, and as visible religious minorities, to name only a few.But of course we know that, in fact, Canadians in all walks of life have most definitely NOT come to rely on them. Most recently it's been two groups of highly educated and influential Muslims.
But most often it's Richard Warman, who's submitted more than half the claims.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Said that Obama thinks he's better than Hillary and Edwards thinks he's better than Obama and Hillary thinks she's better than both and Bill's behind the curtains with a blonde.
Sort of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Sleeze and Ho.
Bill Clinton is the elephant in the room.
It's is hard for me to figure out how he can be involved in this campaign.
He was impeached for lying to congress.
He was disbarred for lying under oath.
I'm reposting this video just as evidence of how this bubba operates.
They have an incredibly comprehensive strategy to try and discredit anyone that could stop them on their road to world domination.
Read Sterling Burnett's resume - seems to me his main expertise is in recognizing bullshit when he smells it. And I betcha he has one more PhD than all the executives of Greenpeace put together...
... okay, I found one - I was just being sarcastic anyway.
Governmentium has one neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 224 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.
These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected as it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A tiny amount of Governmentium causes one reaction to take over four days to complete when it would normally take less than a second.
Governmentium has a normal half-life of four years; it does not decay but instead, it undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to speculate that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration. This hypocritical quantity is referred to as "Critical Morass." You will know it when you see it.
When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, an element which radiates just as much energy since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons…
(Credit unknown - found on anonymous joke site)
Dear Mr. Minister,
I'm in the process of renewing my passport, and still cannot believe this. How is it that Radio Shack has my address and telephone number and knows that I bought a t.v. cable from them back in 1997, and yet, the Federal Government is still asking me where I was born and on what date. For Christ sakes, do you guys do this by hand?
My birth date you have on my social insurance card, and it is on all the income tax forms I've filed for the past 30 years. It is on my health insurance card, my driver's license, on the last eight goddamn passports I've had, on all those stupid customs declaration forms I've had to fill out before being allowed off the planes over the last 30 years, and all those insufferable census forms that are done at election times.
Would somebody please take note, once and for all, that my mother's name is Maryanne, my father's name is Robert and I'd be absolutely astounded if that ever changed between now and when I die!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SHIT!
I apologize, Mr. Minister. I'm really pissed off this morning. Between you an' me, I've had enough of this bullshit! You send the application to my house, then you ask me for my @#&in' address. What is going on? You have a gang of Neanderthals assholes workin' there! Look at my damn picture. Do I look like Bin Laden? I don't want to dig up Yasser Arafat, for shit sakes. I just want to go and park my ass on a sandy beach. And would someone please tell me, why would you give a shit whether I plan on visiting a farm in the next 15 days? If I ever got the urge to do something weird to a chicken or a goat, believe you me, I'd sure as hell not want to tell anyone!
Well, I have to go now, 'cause I have to go to the other end of the city and get another @#%in copy of my birth certificate, to the tune of $60! Would it be so complicated to have all the services in the same spot to assist in the issuance of a new passport the same day?? Nooooo, that'd be too damn easy and maybe make sense. You'd rather have us running all over the @#%in' place like chickens with our heads cut off, then find some asshole to confirm that it's really me on the goddamn picture - you know, the one where we're not allowed to smile?! (@#%in morons) Hey, you know why we can't smile? We're totally pissed off!
Signed - An Irate @#%ing Canadian Citizen.
P.S. Remember what I said above about the picture and getting someone to confirm that it's me? Well, my family has been in this country since 1776 when one of my forefathers took up arms against the Americans. I have served in the military for something over 30 years and have had security clearances up the yingyang. I was aide de camp to the lieutenant governor of our province for ten years and I have been doing volunteer work for the RCMP for about five years. However, I have to get someone 'important' to verify who I am - you know, someone like my doctor WHO WAS BORN AND RAISED IN COMMUNIST @#%ing CHINA!!!
The United States decided to attack the leaders behind these acts of war in Afghanistan. The United Nations approved this invasion and NATO gathered around the US in undertaking this mission.
Shortly thereafter, with information provided by several different security and intelligence services, the United States with the approval of both Houses (and with the support of Senators John Kerry and Hillary Clinton) decided to invade Iraq to get rid of notorious despot Sadaam Hussein who was reported to have weapons of mass destruction. Seeing as he had used such against his own people, this seemed to be a reasonable action. The United Nations refused to approve this mission.
What was the difference?
Approval of the United Nations.
Could this have been influenced by the Iraqi oil that France and German had become dependent on?
In this article she tells us that PMSH is a "climate denier". Huh? Does she think that PMSH thinks that the 25 below day today is the same as the 25 above day that he enjoyed in Afghanistan?
And where does it say that the climate doesn't change? Does Ellie May believe that it never has and never will? Does she ever think before she says something?
Which brings us to a report last week from Greenpeace that opposes all farming -- except the "sustainable" kind the organic farmers practise.
The environmental watchdog announced farming is one of the major causes of global warming and it wants the federal government to tax fertilizer to combat it.
Farming contributes 17 to 32% of emissions leading to global warming, the report said, much of it coming from overuse of fertilizer, but a lot also coming from animals we eat. Sheep emit the most methane, Greenpeace says, but cows are almost as bad and pigs aren't great either. Poultry contributes the least.
But even clearing more land and putting it to agricultural uses is now a bad thing environmentally, according to Greenpeace.
This is scary stuff. If food is too environmentally unsound to grow, what exactly are we going to eat?
Greenpeace wants a fertilizer tax so the government can provide programs for farmers to develop more "sustainable" practices. Or in other words, they want a tax on food.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Pam McConnell is the south east side downtown Councillor for Toronto - very likely the centre of cockroach population in the city. She is left of left of left, but mostly, just one more self-promoting stupid councillor. Check this out:
After meeting with residents and Councillor Pam McConnell (Ward 28, Toronto Centre-Rosedale), city officials are ready to try out a new arrangement in the ward.Okay - now understand, Pam, that residents don't only have to DISPOSE of garbage and recycling - they also have to STORE it until the city's pathetic garbage collectors come to pick it up.
Residents can elect to get one bin only and use it for recycling one week and garbage the next.
Those choosing that option must make sure they don't jumble garbage and recycling together, said Geoff Rathbone, general manager of solid waste.
Where should residents keep their stinking garbage for the week that they are using their bins for recycling? Huh?
Today The Star confirms it's equivalent level of stupidity:
While Clinton was speaking, a few blocks away, 71-year-old Betty Turner was quietly listening to a credit counsellor, a sheaf of printouts spread across her lap. She knows the economy is in a rough patch when she looks in the mirror every day.Kindly inform me, gentle leftoid readers, what a kindly 71 year old lady being unable to pay her credit cars has to do with the economy? Did she lose her job at the plant? Does she travel, oh, say 2,000 miles a week to bingo so that gas prices are putting a dent in her pension?
"My credit cards have gotten away from me, which is why I came here," she said inside the counselling service's office. She adds, however, that at least her house isn't being foreclosed on, like some of her neighbours in the state that leads the nation in home foreclosures.
Again - left-handed Media Morons are looking for evidence of a recession in places where they don't exist. Sheer and utter incompetent commentary. The Star should stick to wringing its hands over wars rather than delve into areas where they have no knowledge.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Today she describes how she fears being shunned and discredited - perhaps given the academic boot - by having beliefs that vary from those of her colleagues and faculty members
I do feel alone. I cringe in a classroom when we talk about "global warming"/"climate change" and how profs and colleagues refer to the opposite side as "climate change deniers." I finally spoke up this week in class (but was cautious not to make myself the guilty party) and said "climate change deniers" is inaccurate as many of them acknowledge that climate changes, which is their very point.Brilliant. Visit often.
I wish I had had the courage to add, "if you would actually being a little open-minded and actually read/listened to the other side, instead of belittling it, you would know it." How ignorant of my prof (and most of Canadian/MSM) to call them "climate change deniers" (only because they language change from 'global warming' to 'climate change') when they are even denying that climate changes! It is precisely their point that it does change!
What has this country become?
Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn are brought before commissions with dubious
Professors believe that it is necessary to dictate their political beliefs to those they are supposed to guide with a mutual understanding that to disagree is to be dismissed. To have one's life ruined, perhaps.
Today, a bureaucrat who decided that it would be cheaper to pay off victims of tainted blood than to actually test it or let people know it was tainted got off stock free. And his lawyer's fees, likely in the millions of dollars, will be paid by, yes, the taxpayers.
What has Canada become? Canada, as a frigid country, was bearable because we were so damn decent and honest. Now almost anyplace looks warmer. Even Saudi Arabia - at least there you know where you stand.
The objective of the survey was to determine which candidate was most likable, as this tends to be a significant factor in who people vote for.
Not much surprising...
The audience for the poll is largely Canadian Conservative, so naturally results were heavily skewed to GOP candidates.
And not surprising that Fred Thompson came out on top. He's got big face recognition from his acting (I believe he actually played the President once). He's a truck driving, down home, straight speaker that we Conservatives tend to like.
We'll see if this appeal carries over into votes in this week's Primaries in South Carolina - the first truck-drivin' , down home state.
Not surprised to see that Monica Lewinsky's Boyfriend's Wife barely passed the statistical significance test.
One thing to make note: "The force's own studies show that people with mental health issues were the target in 30 per cent of Taser deployment incidents", he (the Toronto Police Chief) said. An example was the shooting of Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver airport last October, who has almost always been described as "confused and agitated", followed by his being a "nice boy"... Nowhere do I recall him being referred to as mentally ill. I guess that would be insulting, or rights depriving or something else that's bad.
Would the do-gooders prefer coppers just shoot the crazies when they get "confused and agitated?
Ever got a new car that was different? A Red Chevy or a Black Bimmer? Bought it cause it was different and made you stand out from the crowd?
Then you get it home, roll down the windows or ragtop and cruise around the hood looking too cool only to discover that every second damm car is exactly the same?
Yogi said that "you can observe a lot just by lookin'". And how true that is - as humans, we generally only ever notice anything after for some reason it's brought to our attention.
Tens of thousands of police officers in North America have them and hundreds use them every day.
Yet, because of a few isolated incidents, (here's a link to the latest) we (collectively - certainly me is not included in that we) assume that people are getting fried everywhere, all the time.
And of course they're not. And in none of the media coverage is there any discussion of how dead would be those tasered souls if sidearms where used instead.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
For those who haven't been fascinated by these gritty representations of mid/late 1800 Texas, Larry McMurtry's series focuses on the life long relationship (but not in a Brokeback Mountain way) between two Texas Rangers Gus McCrae (originally played by Robert Duvall) and Woodrow Call (orig. Tommy Lee Jones).
McMurtry is among America's most prolific and successful authors, having won a Pulitzer and a few Academy Awards for his scribing.
The Lonesome Dove series is close to my heart, it really brings to the emotions the hard and often tragic lives led by those only a few generations before I was born. It also exudes what "manning-up" (as commonly used by light-loafered city hipsters today) really means.
McCrae and Call do what their superiors tell them to do to open up a new frontier, they endure whatever hardship is necessary, they don't countenance rudeness or mean-ness, especially to women and they put their lives on the line for a bigger cause. They also have fun (at least McCrae does) where and when they can find it.
It also reveals the pain of native Americans as they were participants in being swept away by more technologically advanced immigrants.
Comanche Moon is not what Lonesome Dove was - nothing could ever be. No one could replicate Duvall's and Jones' performance. But Steve Zahn does do a passable imitation of Duvall's McCrae, but fails in the good humour category.
All in all, any Lonesome Dove event is a big one (even when a dotty James Garner played Call in one of them). This was a great watch and stirred memories, even if it didn't spark new enthusiasms.
(Out of Four)
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Now WHY exactly should anyone give a fiddler's fig about what the general population thinks about the economic condition of America. Exactly how many of them read the Dailies from Bureau of Economic Analysis?.005% - maybe. So why the eff does their opinion matter and why would it be a Wolf Headline? (Could it be because it's good politics if you're trying to elect Democrats...)
Here's the definition of a recession (for those who don't know)
First off the US economy has grown every quarter for the last year and is forecast to grow every quarter this year (especially because governments are unlikely to take action that will reduce the GDP during an election year). A recession as defined simply will not occur - the economy will just not grow as fast as it has.
Second of all, the USA has rebounded remarkably since 911. Here are a couple of charts - Unemployment and GDP:
Certainly the housing and new "thrift" crisis has hurt public opinion by giving the Lib Media something to moan about but face it - it was simply fools lending money to idiots, it's only about $100 Billion (which is peanuts in the US wealth pool), and a lot of it was absorbed by non-US financial institutions.
The War? again - $100 billion a year or so. About the same about that the USA used to spend in military bases in Europe during the Cold War. Peanuts.
And unemployment? 0% is not zero unemployment. 5% is zero unemployment - there are ALWAYS people in between jobs, newly retired, or taking time off.
America has never been so wealthy and healthy and powerful. Do not believe anything that CNN says.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
In the Koran, the Sira, and the Hadith, only 17% of the Islamic trilogy deals with the words of Allah. The remaining 83% refers to the words and deeds of Mohammed.
Of all of the references to "hell" in the trilogy, 6% are for moral failings, while 94% are for the transgression of disagreeing with Mohammed.
97% of references to "jihad" relate to war and a mere 3% to the concept of "inner struggle."
About 67% of the Koran of Mecca deals with punishing unbelievers for merely disagreeing with Mohammed.
Over 50% of the Koran of Medina deals with hypocrites and jihad against unbelievers. Nearly 75% of the Sira deals with jihad. About 20% of the Hadith by Bukhari is about jihad. The majority of the doctrine is political and it is all violent.
In 4% of the cases, women were superior, in 91% of the cases they were inferior and in 5% they were equal. But there is a big catch. The only way that women are equal is after death on Judgment day, when men and women will be judged on how well they followed the Koran and the Sunna. And guess what? The only way to follow the Koran and the Sunna is to obey men. Equality means obeying men.
Woman are superior by being a mother, who must obey her husband. So the perfect woman on Judgment day will be a mother, who obeyed all the men in her life. So really, the women are subordinate to men in 100% of all of the Koran, Hadith and the Sira.
The GDP of the world’s fifty-seven Muslim-majority countries combined is less than that of France
Those fifty-seven (Islamic) countries are home to about 500 universities, compared to more than 5,000 in the United States and 8,000 in India.
Fewer new book titles are published each year in Arabic, the language of 300 million people, than in Greek, spoken by only 15 million.
More books are translated into Spanish each year than have been translated into Arabic in the last century.
Click Path back to SDA
As a reaction to Julian Falconer's wrongly portrayed report (its ignoring of the recommendations by teachers to be tougher on teen criminals in favour of hugging them and its failure to attempt to interview all TDSB superintendents) Jordan's Mom pleaded that there be an "end to the silence".
Now, what exactly would an end of the silence accomplished? For one, Jordan would have likely been identified as a juvenile criminal and been directly involved with the criminal justice system. Secondly, hordes of students (synthesizing the report: 30% - or likely 50% of all males in the school) would have been rounded up, arrested and at least suspended. A good share of the faculty would likely also have been suspended as would all the principals and vice-principals.
Is that what she means?
It wasn't Mike Harris who forced teachers and their superiors to hide crimes taking place before their eyes so that their schools wouldn't look bad.
A well-known self-described liberal Democrat in Hollywood once said that the thing that bothered him most about some of his fellow liberals was their “hate.” It’s not enough, he said, “that they disagree with Republicans and conservatives, but they have to hate them and hate everything they stand for.”
Over the last seven years, a large number of these liberal activists, actors, and entertainers, have professed their outright hatred of George W. Bush. Through their rants in columns, in books, and on television and radio, they have spewed varying degrees of unhinged loathing of this president.
. . .there's more . . .
Good insight into the real David Letterman.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Wandering around some of my favorite weblogs this eve, I came across a link at edwardmichaelgeorge devoted to the clever curmudgeon himself. The home page starts with this nugget:
"CYNIC n. A blackguard whose faulty vision causes him to see things as they are, not as they ought to be."Stop by...
But I wanted to share two funny bits with you. First, from the climate crowd who claims to have their science so buttoned down that we skeptics should not even be allowed to talk about it any more, comes this:
Taking into account the new data, they said, seven of the eight warmest years on record have occurred since 2001
What new data? That another YEAR had been discovered? Because when I count on my own fingers, I only can come up with 6 years since 2001.
Note: Dr. Pielke's critic on the post is one Gavin Schmidt (NASA)
Hat Tip to the inimitable Tom Nelson
Sunday, January 13, 2008
While it effectively described how TV weather reports exaggerated their reports to scare the poss out of us, it also explained how neutral and objective the Weather Channel is in describing the likelihood of Climate Change Catastrophe.
Well, guess what. The Weather Network goes out of their way to prove that we're going to hell in a weather-cast.
Here's what the Weather Channel really does: Weather Channel Moonie
As a bonus, here's more context: David Suzuki Moonies
Saturday, January 12, 2008
In an effort to grab higher ratings and boost advertising in a fiercely competitive market, some television stations are being accused of exaggerating, dare we say hyping, their weather forecasts.
Crippling ice storms, devastating tsunamis and powerful hurricanes enthral viewers like a drawn-out O.J. Simpson trial or the heart-wrenching coverage of 9/11. Hurricane Katrina had us mesmerized for weeks – and the ad revenue flowed.
It used to be that weather forecasters were criticized for getting it wrong. Now, in true Chicken Little style, it's being suggested they're consistently overstating their predictions – the depth of snow, the severity of wind-chill factors – urging the audience to brace for the worst.
David Phillips, senior climatologist for Environment Canada, calls it "storm porn."
Yes, he's heard the criticism that "some news producers go to their meteorologists and tell them to make it bigger and badder." But that is in the U.S., he says, where broadcasters like CNN disperse teams of "atmospheric paparazzi" to catch the wind and rain behaving badly.
Phillips laughs. The viewing public is titillated by shots of pretty boys Anderson Cooper and Rob Marciano buffeted by a coastal storm or huddled against a rampart holding inside-out umbrellas, as sheets of metal fly around their heads.
But Phillips is not convinced that maelstrom has hit Canada – yet.
It's hard to prove that weather reports are being exaggerated, he points out, because there are too many variables. The intensity, duration and path of a storm can change on a dime. "At the last moment, it can stall, pick up a shot of adrenaline from another storm or swerve 100 kilometres south."
The storm that hit Toronto Dec. 16 started out as a "pimple" in Texas, he says. "It took five days to get here. A lot can happen in five days. So they have to decide – do we go for it early and tell viewers this storm could be enormous or wait until we're more sure?"
Brett Anderson, senior meteorologist for AccuWeather.com, says there are some news providers who are guilty of hyperbole when it comes to the weather but he insists it's not rampant.
"I think there is a small percentage of TV stations that do indeed hype the forecast to draw attention to themselves and thereby increase their ratings," he told the Star by email from his home in Pennsylvania. "It is usually the stations that have low ratings to begin with that need that extra boost in viewership and will do what is necessary to get that boost."
"This is weather as entertainment," says Mark Fieder, president of the real estate company Avison Young. Because Fieder and his family are avid skiers, weather reports are important. "I'm frustrated by the constant overstatement of weather reporting," he says.
Fieder relies on accurate weather reports to plan his week, particularly his weekends, most of which are spent at resorts north of the city that are a sometimes-treacherous two-hour journey by car.
"It's not that they're wrong," he says. "I can understand mistakes. But it seems to me the weather predictions are consistently worse than what actually comes.
"It makes you fretful about the drive. Now I go directly to the Environment Canada website. It is by far the most accurate. I even look at the radar and satellite pictures and do my own interpretations."
Keith Westerlage, vice-president of on-camera meteorology at The Weather Channel in the U.S., says North America is a weather-obsessed culture. And it's big business. This month, The Weather Channel was put up for sale for an estimated $5 billion (U.S.).
"The nightly weather forecast is the original reality television, particularly during big weather events," he says. "You become glued to your television because you know someone who lives near that storm or you watch and you're glad you're not there. There are lots of reasons we watch."
In recent years, the weather has been the big story. And, like Phillips, Westerlage is aware that some news directors in U.S. regional markets encourage their weather reporters to make their broadcasts more exciting.
"There is a lot of competition out there, so we have to work hard to keep our viewers tuned in to us," Westerlage says.
Christopher Scott, manager of Forecast Operations at The Weather Network, says there's a natural market for weather news among Canadians.
"Weather impacts everything we do," he says. "And because we have four distinct seasons, we are a true weather country. It's the variability that keeps people coming back for more."
Scott says the 30 meteorologists at The Weather Network "focus on the science. What you see on television is an interpretation of that science."
Gordon McBean, a professor at the University of Western Ontario, agrees that Canadian broadcasters are less likely to exaggerate weather reports dramatically to spike ratings. Unlike many U.S. markets, Canada has all kinds of weather. There is no dearth of material, says McBean, who was assistant deputy minister responsible for the Meteorological Service of Environment Canada from 1994 to 2000.
What's more, all severe weather warnings are issued from a single and remarkably reliable source – Environment Canada, he says.
Though Westerlage adheres to a conservative definition of hype, he acknowledges that exaggerated weather reports are more common and, worse, the broadcasters of these reports are not being held accountable.
He also worries these smaller stations are putting their weather reporting crews in harm's way "to get that money shot" of a looming tornado, say, or ferocious hurricane.
Westerlage knows weather can make for some terrific, dramatic television. The more a brewing snowstorm is hyped as Armageddon, the higher the ratings. The radar and satellite equipment provide special effects, ramping up viewers' emotions.
Clouds muster. Hatches are battened down.
And viewers stay tuned.
"We have advertisers who tell us, `When the weather gets to a certain level we want to advertise,'" says Westerlage, noting they'll be charged a premium for it.
But his firm, The Weather Channel, has never embellished its forecasts to lift ratings. "You want a long-term quality relationship with advertisers," he says.
Ian Rutherford, executive director of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, says his organization does not monitor the voracity of television and radio broadcasts. But it does have an endorsement program and he believes broadcasters endorsed by the society "would ethically not yield to any pressure to alter their forecasts."
Weather forecasters do not need to be meteorologists, Rutherford says. He thinks most trained meteorologists would not be good at presenting the weather, because they would tend to get bogged down in the complicated science and that would turn viewers off.
"It is definitely an art to make a good weather presentation."
McBean wonders if so much of our fascination with weather is connected to our growing fear of global warming.
There is the day-to-day, need-to-know weather and there's the big picture, notes McBean. Perhaps our interest in weather extremes – "the rains in Vancouver, the fires in Kelowna and Prairie droughts" – fuel our end-of-the-world fears about melting ice caps.
McBean has seen the profession of weather forecasting move from respected meteorologist Percy Saltzman and his famous chalk to the modern-day stations that employ teams of experts and expensive arsenals of forecasting technology. (Saltzman was Canada's face of weather reporting on the CBC from 1952 to 1982. According to his official website, "each night when Percy finished his frantic three-minute weather blast, the map and he were coated in a thick cloud of chalk dust.")
With Saltzman gone, Environment Canada senior climatologist Phillips has a do-it-yourself solution to finding a reliable forecaster.
"Keep a scoreboard," he says.
Track the successes and failures of various stations. Over the course of time, find the weather source that seems most reliable. And then just ignore all the other Chicken Little forecasting.
Friday, January 11, 2008
At the moment it seems that if this happened to Nancy Pelosi's kids, and she was holding the razor that she'd give them bon-bons and let them go. But a few years ago, they woulda lost an ear.
As it turns out Nancy Pelosi and the entire Intelligence Committee knew what was being done to extract information from Al Qaida terrorists and not only approved - but they wanted MORE.
The leaders of the intelligence committees of both houses of Congress — the so-called Gang of Four — were thoroughly briefed on the tactics being used back then, including waterboarding. Their response? To quote the testimony of Porter Goss, who served as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee before he was director of the CIA, “the reaction in the room was not just approval, but encouragement.”
When this bipartisan set of congressional leaders — which included Nancy Pelosi, now speaker of the House — got an hour-long virtual tour of the CIA’s overseas prisons, and the harsh tactics used there, including waterboarding, no objections were raised.
Indeed, according to officials present, at least two of the lawmakers asked the CIA to push harder for information. The official conducting the briefing “was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough,” to quote one of the participants in a meeting held in September of 2002.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
What if the American people jump onto Barack Obama's theme of "Change". What if Change became the new mantra for Americans? The new "Where's the Beef?"
Clinton and Edwards on the Dem side are all over the Change meme, taking credit for every time they've changed their socks (though not for every time they changed their position on Iraq). Mitt is trying to snuggle up to this on the GOP side so he'll look a little different, but the rest of the Repubs do what they usually do - try to stay away from change the way Hillary's husband did in response to her demands to clean up his act.
The average age of the 100 US Senators is 62. 26 are over 70 and 6 over 80. All born during or before the Great Depression, with all the associated embedded psychological trauma and the effect this has had on America.
If Change becomes trendy, then watch out. I see no fear in Obama. If he's the Democratic nominee, what if (a long line of if's here) he demanded change for America. He demanded that Americans look hard and long at their elected representatives and ask themselves what has this man done for me and my country lately?
A huge number of Americans think the US is totally FUBAR (despite it still being the most civilized and well-to-do nation in the world). What if about 20 million Americans said, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore?" What if a lot of them decided that they would vote for anyone who isn't like the one that was there before?
What if they elected a black man as President and a dozen or twenty black senators and a hundred or so black congressmen. What if the average age of the senate goes down to fifty?
Then again, maybe I should stay away from those four absinthe lunches.
That's assuming, of course, they have been in and out of rehab in recent months, arrived in public in short skirts and no underwear, shaved their heads bald, run over a photographer's foot, banged up a car in a parking lot and left without notifying the owner, and attacked another car with an umbrella.
Figure out how to wring pennies and dollars from Toronto residents.
Do it often enough and effectively enough and you can make up for the fact that you piss away money the way a drunken sailor does on shore leave (apologies to drunken sailors).
Brian from Hespeler today recalls for us how last year Toronto Hydro responded to people actually conserving energy by boosting rates. Brilliant thinking there.
Then this morning, we're advised that the City is gonna boost rec fees by 21%. That will be sure to make it easier for low income families to find positive distractions for their kids.
And last year they came up with a way of making more money from recycling. No. Not by finding markets for all the recycled material that we can't sell that's land filled. But by charging people for recycling more. You see, you can buy a small, medium or large blue bin and pay an appropriate fee based on se. (Which is fine, but I get pissed off when we (a) pay taxes for something and then (b) the city decides they should all of a sudden charge us a fee.
But now we learn than the only have the medium and large bins. So those frugal recyclers are gonna have to cart their recyclables (40% of which will be landfilled anyway) through their bedrooms.
Geoff Rathbone, general manager of solid waste for Toronto, said the city will eventually offer small recycling bins to those who need them. The trouble is, they won't be rolling off the production line before fall. Very few households will find the small bins hold two weeks' worth of recycling, Rathbone said.
Monday, January 07, 2008
How the world might change if the USA had a black President.
I know that his policies are a little bit left of loonie, but in the job he'd need to face reality.
Meanwhile, Billy C. is apologizing for not being able to make his wife younger and taller and maler
And face it - the most leftie American politician is miles right of the most right wing Canadian poli.
Cafferty is showcasing McGovern's demand that Bush and Cheney be impeached for "High Crimes and Misdemeanours". Can't capture the video or find anything more than this.
Sort of a "double dog" impeachment request - 'you impeached my President so I have to impeach yours..."
“Over several decades of development, models have consistently provided a robust and unambiguous picture of significant climate warming in response to increasing greenhouse gases.”
“…models are unanimous in their prediction prediction of substantial climate warming under greenhouse gas increases
Global warming has not occurred for the last several years
“New observational and modelling evidence strongly supports a combined water vapour-lapse rate feedback of a strength comparable to that found in General Circulation Models
The increase of water vapor content of the atmosphere has been muted at most zero over the last few years;
The understanding of anthropogenic warming and cooling influences on climate has improved since the TAR, leading to very high confidence that the global average net effect of human activities since 1750 has been one of warming, with a radiative forcing of +1.6
“Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level”
Using the IPCC estimate of global radiative forcing and the diagnosis of the radiative imbalance from ocean heat content changes, the global radiative feedbacks are negative.
These failures of the projections (predictions) of the 2007 IPCC report, by themselves, should result in the rejection of the IPCC report as representing settled climate science.
Sunday, January 06, 2008
There's enough content in his links to keep all of us busy for a week reading.
Congratulations, Tom. Keep up the great work.
I encourage all of the CBL nation to visit often at Tom Nelson.
Who would you most like to have a beer or dinner with.
Politics is all about likeability. People vote for people who they think, think like they think.
People vote for who they like.
Comments herein as far as why are encouraged.
Yesterday Canada won another Junior Hockey World Championship - whoop dee doo.
So once again our post-adolescent boys managed to triumph over the acne-filled-faces of the other five hockey playing countries in the global collection of 200 odd (make that mostly odd) nations.
Did this huge hockey story supplant the political crisis in Pakistan or violence in Kenya?
I am sick and tired of getting hockey shoved down my throat - yeah, our politicians are all corrupt and bereft of ideas, but it's okay - we have hockey. Yeah, we only have a handful of companies that have invented and commercialized anything, but we invented hockey.
I listen to four radio stations: AM - 590, 640 and 1010 and CBC 99.1FM
Yesterday while travelling to visit my sigother at noon, two of these had LEAF specials on for two hours over lunch. AM 640 has Leaf hockey talk on for THREE HOURS every day and 590 for two. Hockey is our opiate. Our distraction from real things.
This Leaf addiction is a symbol of what Canada has become - toothless, threatening opponents with sticks, and in last place in our division.
Give it up!! Read. Listen to Music. Write a story. Meet with friends and chat. Travel to other places. Experience life. Play bloody hockey. Create something. Do anything but end this ridiculous affection for the Toronto Make Believes.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Really, they both ARE REALLY running for President
hat tip to my Kate
What if the former Liberal Candidate in Toronto Ctr Married the New Tory Candidate for Tor Ctr and then Married the Van Quadra Conservative?
It's almost like if Dion (of The Belmonts) married Celine Dion who then married you know who.
(Note I know she was only a nomination candidate)
Thanks to Reader Tip
A look back at the year that was, through the lens of failure:
1 Faith-based schools
Under John Tory’s leadership, the whole city was flirting with the notion of voting Conservative. Then Tory dropped this clunker on his way out of the starting gate, tripped over it and never got back on his feet.
2 David Miller’s failed tax vote
Being mayor of Toronto is really easy: all you need to get anything accomplished is 23 votes. Provided, of course, that you or a member of your staff can count that high.
3 Phantom budget cuts
The Sheppard subway will be closed—not. Community centres will be closed—not. Libraries will be closed—not. Decisions have consequences—not.
4 The Mark Warner affair
It wasn’t an active year for federal politics in the city, but Stephen Harper did manage to kill the Toronto Centre candidacy of the one man who could have made him palatable to Toronto. Who’s left? News anchor–cum–blowhard Peter Kent, who, of course, will be running outside city limits.
5 Blame the media
NDP leader Howard Hampton, desperate to change the subject from faith-based schooling, blamed the media. This bet is notable because it nearly covered the spread: the ploy got attention, but alas, no votes.
"This is especially about all of the young people in New Hampshire who need a president who won't just call for change, or a president who won't just demand change, but a president who will produce change, just like I've been doing for 35 years," she said at a morning rally in Nashua.
35 years?? Since she married Billy? Really??
She couldn't even change her husband's tendency to drop his pants every chance he got.
Here's a link to a bio of her. (Nice pic as well)
No massive change since 1972 here...
Friday, January 04, 2008
Marine Corps Rules:
Be courteous to everyone, friendly to no one.
Decide to be aggressive enough, quickly enough.
Have a plan.
Have a back-up plan, because the first one probably won't work.
Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun whose caliber does not start with a '4.'
Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap. Life is expensive.
Move away from your attacker. Distance is your friend. (Lateral & diagonal preferred.)
Use cover or concealment as much as possible.
Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.
Always cheat; always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.
In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived.
If you are not shooting, you should be communicating your intention to shoot.
Navy SEAL's Rules:
Look very cool in sunglasses.
Kill every living thing within view.
Check hair in mirror.
US Army Rangers Rules:
Walk in 50 miles wearing 75 pound rucksack while starving.
Locate individuals requiring killing.
Request permission via radio from 'Higher' to perform killing.
Curse bitterly when mission is aborted.
Walk out 50 miles wearing a 75 pound rucksack while starving.
US Army Rules:
Curse bitterly when receiving operational order.
Make sure there is extra ammo and extra coffee.
Do not listen to 2nd LTs; it can get you killed.
US Air Force Rules:
Have a cocktail.
Adjust temperature on air-conditioner.
See what's on HBO.
Ask 'what is a gunfight?
Request more funding from Congress with a 'killer' PowerPoint presentation.
Wine & dine ''key" Congressmen, invite DOD & defense industry executives.
Receive funding, set up new command and assemble assets.
Declare the assets 'strategic' and never deploy them operationally.
Hurry to make 13:45 tee-time.
Make sure the base is as far as possible from the conflict but close enough to have a tax exemption.
US Navy Rules:
Go to sea.
I was in the curse bitterly category.
They forgot smoke cigarettes